12 February 2013

South Africa: Satawu Welcomes Action By SAA Board

SATAWU has noted and welcomes with relief the swift decision by the South African Airways (SAA) board to put the acting CEO on precautionary suspension.

The acting CEO has a dark cloud hovering above his integrity, honesty, managerial competencies and all other noble aspects one expects out of a CEO for a state owned public funded company.

As SATAWU we have exhausted all avenues in an attempt to cooperate with Mr Kona as organized labour at the airline and all our attempts came to naught.

Our conviction for the support of the board’s decision is based on the following:

Direct isolation of all SAA stakeholders, including the shareholder (government) on important governance matters that need oversight

Creation of countless labour unrests within the airline by flouting procedures that ended up confusing and inciting workers as well as bogus recognition of a certain desperate NGO called NTM as a union

The propensity by the acting CEO to neglect his managerial role but rather convene secretive private caucuses with antagonistic sections of workers, worker leaders, managers, politicians and business people

Sidling by the acting CEO of senior managers on their roles and his appointment of friends and cronies into strategic positions

Tolerance to thuggery, ill-discipline and general lawlessness by the employees who have pretend to be shop stewards

We further note that the board has advertised for a position of the permanent CEO to be filled at the airline and our view is that the process must be sped up as to ensure that we do not have a leadership vacuum at the national carrier.

We expect the board to appoint a person of unquestionable integrity and clean record on corporate governance with sound managerial and financial skills so as to lead an efficient turn around strategy that would put SAA back to profitable and competitive entity so that the citizens do not continue to bail it out yearly. We expect the appointee to meet all the employment equity and affirmative action requirements as per the legislation and as such no excuse must be made that there is no skill for such people. We believe that there are too many candidates for that job who are black, female and previously disadvantaged but have the necessary competencies to run SAA as the most competitive sought after national asset.

We further urge the shareholder representative, in the form of the department of public enterprises to remain studious and vigilantly meticulous in its exercise of oversight and strict management of the airline and never to be pressured by different interests groups who wish to see the SAA operating as a privatized profit only driven company.

For more information please contact Vincent Masoga on: 083 297 3826

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